What an action packed few weeks of learning and sharing it has been for the Networks. There have been a number of regional celebrations taking place over the last few days or coming up soon, with school teams sharing their inquiry learning and celebrating how connected learning matters and how this has the potential to “make things right” for our students and communities.
Those who attended the 2017 NOII Symposium (or followed us on Twitter at #noii2017) will surely remember the significance of “making things right” and how Kaleb Child explained this as being our collective responsibility for our children, as well as recognizing the “racism of low expectations.” Indeed, many of the presenters, school presentations, ignite sessions and flash chats addressed this challenge throughout the 3 day event.
And this is what the Network is all about – and what the Symposium hopes to accomplish each year. It’s about coming together and working hard to address how to improve the outcomes and lived experiences of our learners. It’s about EVERY learner crossing the stage with dignity, purpose and options. All learners (kids and adults) leaving the school more curious than when they arrived. And ALL learners gaining knowledge and respect for Indigenous ways of knowing. We hope you felt these “reverberations” as you participated in the Symposium this year. Here are some comments we received through our feedback survey:
“As for ideas that resonated with me... so many! My biggest one that I came back with and spoke with my District Principal about was the fact that Spirals brings the focus back to the students. It isn't about teachers' professional "development". Instead it is about being reflective educators engaging in "professional learning" in responsive ways to meet the needs of our students. It places the students at the centre of all learning, including the teachers.”
“The power of grassroots, teacher-led development of practice is a force unstoppable. It was a great first experience with the Symposium. One veteran participant described it as coming home to a family of like-minded educators.”
“What jazzed me was the diversity of ideas, the push to go to the next level. Only my second time attending, but by the end exhausted and invigorated at the same time! The importance of keeping it up, pushing through the moments of exasperation and helping each student believe they can be successful, then helping them find that success.”
“The symposium was so inspiring and energizing - it has really given me the push I needed to finish the year off strong, and to plan for the year ahead. I have already begun making connections with other educators and outside groups in order to get our outdoor classroom, and outdoor education program as a whole, rolling for next year.”
“I am changing my job description to inquiry and innovation leader, along with my 2 new teaching partners!”
“Every single person who came was genuinely on the paddling team - from the Yukon, BC, Alberta, New Zealand, Australia, Oakland, Montreal... it was spirit lifting to know so many people who care so deeply - and also who know how to play.”
“I left in a state of awe, gratitude and wonder. My learning will reverberate for months and years to come. Thank you all!”
“Excellent arrangement of speakers, musicians and story tellers. Food was lovely, venue was fabulous, content was rich and evoked curiosity. I have indeed left more curious than when I came - and I came in with a dozen questions! Thanks for the fabulous sessions! Well done.”
We are extremely grateful to those who contributed their time to the event through presentations, leading flash chats, volunteering, and being fully engaged in lively discussions over the course of 3 days. Several presentations and highlights from the Symposium have now been posted on our website here. Some shared comments are also captured below and through #noii2017.